Credit: Pieter M. van Hattem
by Andrew Bosma Music Pop Rocks

The White Stripes | Greatest Hits

January 23, 2021

Without any rhyme or reason for its sequencing, the latest from Jack White’s vault is a low effort shrug.

After nearly a decade of being one of the more obnoxious personalities in the music industry, it can be easy to forget that Jack White was once the front man of an absolute powerhouse duo that made fun, and innovative, rock music. A compilation of that band’s hits sounds plenty appealing, at first blush, but, like the majority of White’s post-White Stripes output, Greatest Hits comes across as self-important and unnecessary. The Stripes maintained indie darling status through years of what could be considered major hits, with songs like “We’re Going to Be Friends,” “Fell in Love With a Girl,” and “Seven Nation Army” all breaking into the mainstream consciousness. And these songs, sure enough, are all present on this hits compilation. But it seems like the other “hits” were chosen at random, rather than curated for fans to enjoy.  Several of the White Stripes’ standard setlist tracks make it in, to be fair, but there’s almost an hour and a half of music here, and no clear rhyme or reason to its sequencing — making for a discombobulated listening experience. Greatest Hits is messy, and not in the fun way the band used to be; many of the tracks are great, but the decision to not organize them by era, or even sonic character, turns this into a playlist to throw on shuffle rather than the cohesive look at the work of an excellent band it could have been. With a little more thought put into sequencing, and maybe a bit shorter runtime, this could have been a great introduction or a welcome shot of nostalgia; instead, Greatest Hits is a low-effort shrug.

Published as part of Album Roundup: Oct. – Dec. 2020 | Part 5.